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Student Focus: Savannah Haeger '16 Takes Davidson into the World

by Danielle Strickland

Savannah HaegerWhen Savannah Haeger '16, of Lake Zurich, Ill., was a little girl, she would memorize country flags and capitals, and she had a deep love of maps. It's no surprise, then, that she now has her sights set on a career that will take her around the world.

Haeger's time at Davidson has exemplified the college experience admission counselors promote to prospective students. She is excelling in the classroom as a political science and Latin American studies double major. Last summer, she interned in Chicago with the Mexican Consulate General, and she is currently a virtual intern with the State Department and the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico. Over winter break, she traveled to Mexico where she met her current boss and coworkers in person.

"When I arrived at Davidson, I had Legally Blonde dreams," said Haeger. "I was headed to law school, no question about it. But after I took Professor Ken Menkhaus' intro to comparative politics class, I was hooked and completely changed my path. It's true that one or two professors can completely change your life."

She credits Menkhaus and Professors Russell and Britta Crandall with advising her through this shift and confirming the direction that suits her best.

Outside of academics, internships and career planning, Haeger, who is fluent in Spanish and working to perfect her Portuguese, doesn't slow down. She is a cheerleader who has sung the National Anthem at recent home basketball games. She is the social chair of Rusk Eating House and is a work-study employee with the college communications office on campus.

"Every day, I want to make sure I'm proving myself at Davidson," said Haeger, a beneficiary of The Davidson Trust scholarship program. "It's such a privilege to be here, and I never forget that."

Haeger, who says she probably would've attended the University of Kentucky-her mother's alma mater-if she had not been accepted to Davidson, loves so many things about the Davidson environment, and one thing she treasures most is that she can learn from the students around her.

"Students here know that there is always someone who is smarter in one area than they are, and we all are passionate about different things," she said. "I love that we can help develop skills in each other."

After studying abroad in Brazil next semester, Haeger will spend more time preparing for life after college. Her top priority in finding a job after Davidson is to live abroad, ideally as a member of the Foreign Service. Her ultimate career goal is to become a spokesperson for the State Department. Graduate school also is on her radar.

"It's great to feel like you've found your calling," she said. "Once I knew, I just knew. I always loved Spanish, and I love politics, so my plan is to marry the two throughout my career. I'm excited for what's next, and I'm grateful that I get to work toward my future here at Davidson. Life here really does change you, but it changes you into the best possible version of yourself. It's pretty amazing."

Haeger is the daughter of Michael Haeger and LeJane Carson. She has one brother, Carson, who is a junior in high school.